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© copyright Kevin Quick

Thomas Brace Stone (1753 - 1815), agricultural writer and land surveyor

Significant events in Stone's life are outlined below:

  • 26th November 1753 baptised at Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. Thomas was the fifth son of Richard Stone and his wife Ann Arnold. Richard was a prosperous draper and churchwarden and owned a significant amount of property in Leighton Buzzard and also in Buckinghamshire
  • By 1776 he was in the East Indies where correspondence from Governor-General Warren Hastings indicated he had fled from Calcutta to an area under French control to evade his creditors
  • Soon after 1776 he returned to England and started farming in Norfolk, he then moved to Tong, Shropshire, where he farmed 1300 acres, and whilst here met John Bishton sen. of Kilsall (writer of General View of Agriculture of the County of Salop)
  • 1783 inherited property from his father and became a land surveyor and estate valuer
  • 1785 published his first book Essay on Agriculture (Arthur Young was critical of this work). By this date he had moved to Bedford
  • 21st November 1786 Thomas married Mary Purser at Ampthill, Bedfordshire. The couple had one daughter
  • 1793 he published his Agriculture of Huntingdon
  • 1794 he published his Agriculture of Huntingdon and his Agriculture of Bedfordshire
  • From 1794 he was the Duke of Bedford's principal acting manager for his estates
  • 1796 Thomas valued Sir Joseph Bank's estate in Lincolnshire. Stone's work for both the Duke aof Bedford and Sir Joseph Bank's was criticized as inaccurate and overpriced
  • Stone acted as a commissioner for a number of Bedfordshire inclosures and roads
  • 1797 Stone leased Ampthill House
  • 1800 shortly after Arthur Young published his report on Lincolnshire, Stone immediately took his revenge publishing the vicious A Review of the Corrected Agricultural Survey of Lincolnshire and also a printed Letter to Lord Somerville
  • By 1800 Stone had been appointed a commisioner for the draining of the Isle of Axholme, Lincolnshire.
  • 1800 and 1801 published Letters on Drainage in Lincolnshire
  • 1800 Francis Russell, fifth Duke of Bedford charged Stone with killing game illegally on his property in Maulden. In 1801 Stone was found guilty, but on appeal to the court of the king's bench in London a split judgement was reached, thus failing to confirm or deny Stone's guilt
  • 1801 Stone was seized for rent and ejected from Ampthill House
  • Late 1801 Stone eloped with 12,000 pounds belonging to one of his employers (possibly the Duke of Bedford)
  • By 1802 Stone was once again under French protection
  • October 1815 Stone died in poverty in Paris